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Family Sacrifices

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His final thought before the black took him was ‘well, this could have gone better’.

One minute he was laughing, a real laugh that hasn’t left his lips for a long time around these people, but seemed to escape him a lot easier these past few days, and joking casually.

Rooftops acting as springboards as he and his siblings soared through the air, a flock of birds in the night, that they all agreed was finally complete.

Dick had deemed it mandatory, with a laugh and twinkling eyes as he clapped Jason on the shoulder ‘A sibling bonding necessity’ he called it.

Then the next minute, the youngest among them, his baby brother a voice in the back of his head reminded him, landed on a weak spot of an old roof to a crumbling warehouse, and Jason knew before a sound could even leave the boy’s lips, he was going down and Jason was the closest to him, So he reached, and grabbed, and jerked Robin towards Nightwing and Red Robin, who had both turned at the kid’s shout.

And Jason trusted one of them would catch him, because Jason couldn’t see them anymore, vision taken over by the insides of the empty warehouse.

He could only feel the rush of air against his body, and he knew this warehouse, knew the floor had given out long ago, and knew he would hit the cement floor of the basement, and then he thanked whatever deity first came to his mind, Hermes funnily enough, that the impact wouldn’t kill him, it wasn’t a large warehouse, and even the basement floor wasn’t far from the roof.

So right now he knew bracing himself was the only thing he could do, because he also knew there was no place to attach a grappling hook for one of his brothers to go after him, Cass had left the group to stop a man from attacking a women in an alleyway outside of a rundown bar, saying she’d catch up with them in a minute or two.

And it was strange, but Jason didn’t find himself particularly afraid, he was expecting something to go wrong sooner or later, it always does just when he’s starting to have something in his life going good.

It was the crack as he hit the ground that startled him out of his revere, a shout leaving his lips, back screaming in pain, nearly drowning out the pain of his head where shards of his now caved in helmet drove in.

It was far off and fuzzy, but he could barely make out Tim screaming out his name, his real name, which surprised him, even if he was trembling from the impact and the sharp, stinging, pain, Tim was always careful with names, he’s always mindful of what he’s saying, he slips up less than Bruce does and Bruce rarely slips up.

But Jason couldn’t think about that right now, not for long, because he was gasping for every shuddering breath he could take, his back feeling like flames had lit under and over and in his skin.

Jason closed his eyes, as if keeping them shut would block out the pain, he had no idea how long had passed when he started barely registering hands prodding at his body, and another set of hands keeping his head, sans his helmet, elevated on a small lap, a worried voice talking to a gruff voice, words too fuzzy to comprehend. Jason groaned and everything seemed to stop, he blinked his eyes open, only to see Batman, no, his dad the voice spat, just like it had with Damian, standing above him, his lips twisted into a worried frown “Hood, can you hear me?” he asked, worry lacing his ton.

And Jason found himself huffing, before cringing in pain because god he hurt, all fucking over, then he licked his lips “yeah” he replied, then “’M fine, ‘ave had worse” Jason was trying to smirk but god right now he could only focus on the pain, nobody laughed but nobody chastised him either, and Tim was saying something quietly but Jason found that the only thing he could focus on right now was his sister, holding his hand and humming something comforting right next to his ear, ‘I’ll have to ask what it was’ appeared as a passing thought in the haze of his mind.

And the rapidly approaching black from the edges of his vision, and the fact he just didn’t want to fight it this time, not tonight.

It wasn’t the same black from that day in that warehouse so long ago that he really didn’t want to think about, just the black that he’s seen from getting to his apartment after a hard patrol with perhaps a few too many bullets in his body, the black that told him his body and mind needed rest, and he could deal with this later.

And for once he heeded the blackness, because he had his family around him to take care of him, he wasn’t on his own anymore, and before the black took him, he thought, or he thought he thought, he might have said it out loud, if Cass’s quiet snort was anything to go by, was ‘well, this could have gone better’.